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To a raven and hurricanes that from unknown places bring back smells of humans in love | ARTLECTURE

To a raven and hurricanes that from unknown places bring back smells of humans in love

-Petrit Halilaj / July 17, 2020 – February 28, 2021-

/People & Artist/
by Petrit Halilaj
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To a raven and hurricanes that from unknown places bring back smells of humans in love
-Petrit Halilaj / July 17, 2020 – February 28, 2021-

HIGHLIGHT


Petrit Halilaj's work is deeply connected with the recent history of his country, and the consequences of the political and cultural tensions in the region. But while confronting a collective memory, his work often originates from a personal experience and it is usually the result of an intimate process and a shared moment with someone he loves....

Born in 1986 in Kostërc (Kosovo), PETRIT HALILAJ lives and works in-between Germany, Kosovo and Italy. His work is deeply connected with the recent history of his country, and the consequences of the political and cultural tensions in the region. But while confronting a collective memory, his work often originates from a personal experience and it is usually the result of an intimate process and a shared moment with someone he loves. His unique, and sometimes irreverent, way to playfully confront the essence of reality results in a deep reflection on memory, freedom, cultural identity and life discoveries. Kamel Mennour and Petrit Halilaj have been working together since 2014....<https://kamelmennour.com/>




The work of Petrit Halilaj (Kostërrc, Skenderaj, Republic of Kosovo, 1986) is tightly bound up with his biography, the recent history of his country, and the consequences of the political and cultural tensions in the region. Childhood memories steeped in the drama of war and refugee life recur throughout his art, which embraces themes like home, nation and cultural identity through a variety of media ranging from drawing and sculpture to video, installation and even writing. However, he does not proclaim a rupture between the personal and intimate and the historical and social, but instead perceives a relationship and continuity to be found in his intervention for the Palacio de Cristal. Perhaps that is why for this show, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Spain, he was half-jokingly and half-seriously invited to produce “the piece of his life“.




Halilaj seems to have taken the proposal almost literally, making artistic material out of his biographical experience. He has turned the Palacio de Cristal into a giant nest that connects the interior with the exterior, linking visitors to their surroundings by opening windows, installing structures, and setting up feeding areas to attract the birds and other creatures inhabiting or transiting through Parque del Retiro. Birds, a recurrent feature of his work, symbolize the transgression of the limits established by modern thought between subject and object, culture and nature. In particular, the artist has drawn inspiration from the extraordinary courtship ritual of bowerbirds, which make elaborate structures (‘bowers’) and decorate them with colorful objects to attract a mate. The idea of this ritual is closely linked to his biography.


The large flowers which decorate the nest, made of a delicate steel framework and painted canvas, are the result of collaborative work with his life partner, the artist Álvaro Urbano. Their choice forms part of the personal history that binds them together, and its purpose is to celebrate their union: forsythia, palm seeds, cherry blossom, poppy, carnation, and lily. However, these references are far from remaining mere anecdotes. In being made public, their intimacy acquires an evident social and political dimension. This call for visibility and acceptance becomes even more relevant when we recall the Palacio de Cristal’s colonial past as a place of exhibition and exclusion, together with its function as a public space. In this respect, it is fundamental for the artist to formulate tensions and cross the limits between public displays that are considered acceptable or worthy of attention and those which on the other hand are censured or scorned........

For more detailswww.museoreinasofia.es





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Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofia